...and Safe for Truth


5th September 2023

Unpublished letter to the Church Times

Following an article in the Church Times on 11th August in which the term “war on woke” was used pejoratively to describe a general right-wing backlash against various current issues, Director, Ken Petrie wrote to the paper to clarify the meaning of the term Wokeism and the specific nature of the intolerance it describes.

Since the paper has declined to publish the letter it is now published here so its contents may be seen and anti-Wokeists can be protected from the unwarranted slur conveyed by that publication.


Nicholas Reed Langen is right to highlight the appalling treatment of unaccompanied child migrants and the pettiness of a government which thinks painting over a child-friendly mural is somehow constructive.

However, as founder of the Diverse Diversity Campaign I really must object to his characterising of this mistreatment as part of a “Culture War” or a “war on woke”. The issue of Wokeism has no connection whatsoever with either children’s welfare or immigration and its invocation in this trite way trivialises the real danger society faces from an intolerant and coercive political ideology. When coining the word as a shorthand alternative for the more descriptive Pseudo-Liberalism I defined it as “A totalitarian ideology akin to Communism and Fascism which seeks to control people’s lives and thoughts by imposing Pseudo-Liberal and Politically Correct values on society as a whole.”

Anti-Wokeists are not partisan. We do not embrace or oppose any distinct group or champion any specific position. Our struggle is against intolerance and persecution and for the preservation of freedom of conscience, enquiry and respectful expressions of such, on which knowledge, democracy, and tolerance of faith in a higher Power than human authorities all depend. The so-called “Culture War” is about cultural values, not political point-scoring or deciding whom should be persecuted. For us it is about ensuring nobody is persecuted.

Wokeists demand we choose which side in an imagined battle we should support, which tribe we belong to. Anti-wokeists are against tribalism per se.

Ken Petrie,
Founder and Director, Diverse Diversity Campaign.